A woman who worked as R. Kelly’s assistant for nearly 16 years opened up about her experience in a recent interview with “Good Morning America.” During her conversation on the morning television show, Diana Copeland specifically addressed allegations that he dealt with minors.
“[I] never witnessed something under … around underage women...,” she said. “They ranged in ages,” Copeland said of the women. “No one under 18. In fact, when this case came up, I was reading women were locked up and kidnapped. That’s not what I’m seeing. I’m not seeing anyone trying to leave. Every woman that left walked right out the door.”
Copeland reportedly worked as Kelly’s executive assistant, a role that required her to run his estate. She ensured that housekeepers and nannies were paid, and was privy to the ages of the women in his home as she was responsible for making travel arrangements. Throughout her tenure as his employee, however, she claims she never helped the singer bring any women home.
“He never asked me,” she told “GMA.” “But at the time … he was R. Kelly, a mega superstar. He needed no help to recruit women or to get women.”
While she denied that some of his “live-in girlfriends” were below the legal age, Copeland admitted that Kelly had strict regulations put in place to maintain order in his home. One rule, for example, required the women to knock on the door to announce their presence in any room.
“He pretty much didn’t want the girls to move around,” said his longtime assistant. “He didn’t want anybody to roam his house like a museum.”
Copeland’s interview comes days after she testified at Kelly’s sex trafficking trial. During her testimony, she told the judge that she was often asked to make Uber calls so Kelly’s girlfriends wouldn’t communicate with male drivers. On other occasions, she added, the women often asked her to speak to men on their behalf — requests she believes followed Kelly’s orders to refrain from speaking to other men.
Despite the observations made over the years, Copeland says she thought Kelly’s rules were typical for a celebrity. “I know that celebrities have unique rules based on their likes and their dislikes,” she said. “You know — he doesn’t like mustard on his hamburger — that’s odd to me too, but I did it. This is his home. He wants us to knock. It wasn’t a big deal for me.
“So if these things happened, which I found out after I left — I think they’re absolutely terrible,” she continued. “So it’s not something I would ever condone. Ever.”
Ultimately, as Kelly’s assistant, Copeland says she separated business matters from personal ones. “I know Robert the family man, the businessman,” she said amid her testimony. “His personal life is Robert’s personal life. My job stops at the threshold of his bedroom door.”